Seeing Miss Saigon for the third time in its current London revival run, there's still an incredible, heart-breaking intensity about the story and Boublil and Schonberg's finest score. Watching this time from the front stalls also reveals the acting performances close-up, without losing the spectacle of the big scenes. The new cast additions also bring a new energy and focus to the story, joining some already established principals who remain from the original cast. 

Chris Peluso gives Chris a charm and yet an aching yearning for Kim – and the flashback scene where they are parted is – as ever – so harrowing, featuring the show's iconic helicopter. Tanya Manalang as Kim (the alternate to Eva Noblezada who continues in the role) brings a wonderful vocal quality to the role and the development of her character from naive bar girl to an utterly determined mother who will give her life for her son is quite a revelation. 

At the glorious centre of this Miss Saigon is Jon Jon Briones' performance as the Engineer – incredibly, Briones was neglected by the Oliviers but is an actor of enormous ability who has made the role his own. Briones succeeds in conveying the monster side of the Engineer as he will stop at nothing to get his visa, to smoke his cigar – to achieve the American Dream. Wily, cunning and snake-like, he is also the great showman and a great charmer – there is something likeable about him despite his villainy. 

Carolyn Maitland, stepping in temporarily for an indisposed Siobhan Dillon, is a better match for Chris age-wise than original cast-member Tamsin Carroll, yet despite the new solo 'Maybe' (replacing the original's 'Now That I've Seen Her') which conveys her inner insecurities, it is still difficult to sympathise with her character. Hugh Maynard remains as a solid John – his 'Bui Doi' solo has less riffs than I remember from before, and the video footage shown above him during that number will truly break your heart. Sangwoong Jo as Thuy gives him an eery confidence and a bold determination to win Kim back come what may. 

It has been announced that the final flight of Miss Saigon will be 27 February – it's a crying shame that a production of such quality is closing after less than two years back in the West End (the original production ran for ten years at Drury Lane). These are different times and there are now different attitudes to war – this production is so much darker than the original and is not as commercial a piece as it was originally because of that. But it's the central theme of separation against a backdrop of an inhumane war that makes Miss Saigon so powerful. It stands out amongst other West End shows and leaves London for a Broadway run and a UK touring life. There's an intensity and a reality to Laurence Connor's restaging of this modern masterpiece that is truly breathtaking. I will truly miss Saigon – a show that needs to be seen and will surely not be forgotten.